Resources for Landowners-off

Here is a sampling of resources available to landowners facing energy development on or near their land.

If you want to learn more about resources available to you, or if you would like more personalized assistance to address and mitigate impacts of energy development, please consider joining our organization. And remember, these resources merely provide tips and generalized information; it is always important to consult an attorney for more specific advice.

Our Tips for Landowners Negotiating Oil & Gas Leases and/or Surface Use & Damage Agreements

Issues to Consider When Negotiating an Oil and Gas Lease

Requirements to Consider Placing in an Oil and Gas Surface Use Agreement or Mineral Lease Agreement

A Landowner Guide to the Wyoming Split Estate Act

This October 2005 publication explains Wyoming’s landmark Split Estate Act so landowners can understand their rights and remedies as they negotiate with oil and gas companies.

An Ohio Landowners Guide to Hydraulic Fracturing

Written by the Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic of Harvard Law School in 2011

Information about Oil and Gas Leasing for Surface Owners Who Also Own Their Minerals

Written by David McMahon, Attorney at Law, Charleston, WV (2008)

Landowner Guidelines for Negotiating a Mineral Lease or Surface Use Agreement

Written by the Southeastern Wyoming Mineral Development Corporation (2011)


Recommendations and Options for Baseline Groundwater Testing

The Powder River Basin Resource Council does not recommend any specific testing method for water well baseline data, however we are providing information about testing companies and methods that we know are available to landowners in Wyoming. Landowners should choose whatever test they feel suits their purposes. It’s always important for landowners to know as much as they can about their water well depth and construction and obtain as much information as they can regarding their groundwater well quality, but it is also important to recognize that no test will be inclusive of all possible sources of contamination.

Surface and Damage Use Agreement Samples

The Surface Damage Agreement will be a contract that is designed to compensate you for damages that the developer does to your surface property and business as they develop methane gas on your property. YOU WILL BE DAMAGED. Damages include but are not limited to:

  • Extreme loss of privacy
  • Noise from motors in the compressor stations, screw compressors, drilling rigs, and generators
  • Lower property values-would you buy or could you sell a property that had methane gas development on it, encumbered by easements that allowed oil and gas companies access for years to come?
  • Damages from water pumped onto your surface
  • Increased risk of water damage to your neighbors as they get “your” water
  • Soil erosion
  • Roads through your property that are driven on weekly
  • Noxious weeds
  • Construction of gas gathering pipelines, large pipelines and electrical stations
  • Construction of well heads, pumps and compressor stations on your property that give you increased noise and exhaust emissions, power lines
  • Storage of construction materials on your property
  • Potential loss of your current well or depth that you have to pump to get your water may increase
  • Increased risk of wildlife poaching
  • Increased risk of your fenced in animals getting loose
  • Damages to your fences
  • Increased risk of livestock injury in winter, after all the water will freeze. They don’t stop pumping water out of the ground just because it’s winter
  • Litter

It is in your best interest to keep in contact with your neighbors. You may be better positioned for negotiation if you know what your neighbors are doing or better yet, get organized as a group, then negotiate as a group